The Super Bowl always offers bettors more player and team props than any other game of the year. We’ll take a look at some of the more popular on the game and look for value in the sea Super Bowl props.
Colin Kaepernick 7/4: Not bad odds, especially if bettors think the Niners will pull away with the victory in this one. The 49ers offense is run first, and Kaepernick and Gore normally shoulder the load. Though it is an obvious pick, it could pay dividends. If we look at the 49ers in the regular season and playoffs, Kaepernick has had some break out games against better defenses than Baltimore. He would likely be the guy to get MVP honors in a San Francisco victory. A $100 bet would win bettors $175.
Joe Flacco 11/4: The Ravens quarterback has been excellent this postseason, but still faces a tough matchup against a San Francisco defense that rarely allows opposing QBs to pass for over 200 yards. Also, we predict a low scoring affair in this game with both teams focused on the run game and field position. However, Flacco could get plenty of attempts if the Ravens are down late and he has proven he can rally his team. We do not like the matchup much, but Ravens backers might feel differently.
Ray Lewis 7/1: The books are licking their chops with this tempting line. Ray Lewis is the feel good story of the year as he announced his retirement before the postseason and his Ravens are now in the Super Bowl. However, if we look at his play on the field, it does not match the hype. Ray Lewis is retiring for a reason – his increasingly diminished play. He’s old. Other than being a locker room presence and a decent tackler up the middle, Ray is not offering much else at this point. He is too slow in coverage and has not forced turnovers like he has done in years past. We would not like Ray Lewis for Super Bowl MVP if he was at 40/1, let alone 7/1. Stay away.
Michael Crabtree 14/1: Crabtree has turned into Mr. Reliable for the Niners and is Colin Kaepernick’s favorite target in the passing game. Matched up against burnable cornerback Cary Williams, Crabtree has the speed, and precise route running to be a big play threat as well as a possession receiver. He has turned it on in the postseason, leading the 49ers in passing targets in each of their last three games. In San Francisco’s regular season finale against Arizona, he caught 8 balls for 172 yards and two touchdowns. He followed that up with 11 catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns against the Packers. At 14/1, a $100 bet would reward bettors with a cool $1,400 payday.
Dennis Pitta 40/1: The Ravens tight end has been a favorite of Joe Flacco in the red zone and a reliable underneath target. The 49ers specialize in stopping the run and the deep threat, but will give opponents some room under the zone defense. Pitta does not always get a lot of targets but is an imposing red zone threat and could find himself open a lot more in this game as San Francisco focuses on Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin. He could be utilized much more in this game as deep routes will be taken away by San Francisco’s elite secondary. It is a long shot, but a $100 bet would win bettors $4,000, a gamble we think is worth taking.
Player Props We Love
Dennis Pitta Longest Reception – Over 17.5 yards: As we mentioned above, Pitta could get plenty of targets in this game as the 49ers focus on the Ravens’ other offense threats. In his last five games, Pitta has had a reception over 20 yards in every start. Sure handed and hard to bring down he works for extra yardage and usually has some space to break a few tackles before he is brought down. The 49ers are actually one of the worst teams defending against slot receivers and tight ends, so we like Pitta’s chancing of breaking a long reception.
Aldon Smith Total Sacks – Over 1.0 Sack: Aldon Smith has been quiet this postseason, but we think he wakes up against a Ravens offensive line that has to be worn out. Baltimore has not faced a front seven like the Niners will bring on Sunday, and we are predicting they have some trouble containing them. Smith may be the prime beneficiary of this pressure. Though he has not had a sack in the postseason, the outside linebacker was second in the NFL this season notching a whopping 19.5 sacks. San Francisco’s stunts did not work well to pressure Matt Ryan and Atlanta. We expect to see a straight bull rush coming from SF’s linebackers and trouble for Ravens courtesy of Aldon Smith.
Vernon Davis Total Receiving Yards – Under 50.5 -105: Davis surprised everyone last week catching 6 balls for 106 yards and a touchdown. Not normally a target of Kaepernick, Davis had his best game since Kaepernick’s debut on November 19th against the Chicago Bears. Other than last week, Davis has mostly been in the game for his blocking with second tight end Delanie Walker getting most of the work in the passing game. He was targeted five times in the game against Green Bay, securing just one catch for 44 yards.
However, in Davis’ five previous games he has just 55 yards receiving. Yes, just 55 yards in his previous five games. He rarely is targeted more than three times per game and has had just one target in multiple games since Kaepernick has taken over. Dannell Ellerbe will shadow him in the Super Bowl and is the Ravens best cover linebacker. Davis is a supreme talent but for whatever reason has not clicked with Kaepernick. We do not expect much from him based on the matchup.
Team Props We Love
First Score of the Game – Field Goal or Safety +120: We love this bet in a game that will likely be dominated early by the run game. Both the Harbaugh brothers will likely not want to make any mistakes, especially with two ball hawking defenses that can force turnovers. Points and field position will be crucial, and both teams will take the sure points early on and will be especially careful in the red zone.
Though David Akers has not been accurate lately for San Francisco, he is 1 for 2 in the postseason and is one of best kickers of all time. Justin Tucker has made 20 of 23 field goals this season for Baltimore.
Number of Penalties Made in the Game by Both Teams – Over 13.5: Despite their success this season, Baltimore is the NFL’s second most penalized team. The 49ers, again, despite their success are the NFL’s seventh most penalized team. In a game where NFL referees are on a worldwide stage, they might be inclined to throw a flag on plays that are close as they do not want to make a mistake in what has already been a shaky playoffs for officials. We predict a lot of yellow flags in this Super Bowl.
Final Thoughts on Super Bowl Props
We went over just some of our favorite prop bets for Super Bowl XVLII, but many sites are offering 400+ prop bets on the game. Just like straight bets, it is vital to look for value in prop bets and shop around to find the best line. Online sportsbooks can differ widely when it comes to prop lines, and some good deals can be found a lot of shops. Limits are restricted on many prop bets so bettors may have to put money down at multiple sites if they want to bet big.
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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